Energy expenditure of physical activity in Korean adults and assessment of accelerometer accuracy by gender

Yeon Jung Choi, Mun Jeong Ju, Jung Hye Park, Jong Hoon Park, Eun Kyung Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: The purpose of this study was to measure energy expenditure (EE) the metabolic equivalents (METs) of 13 common physical activities by using a portable telemetry gas exchange system (K4b2) and to assess the accuracy of the accelerometer (Actigraph GT3X+) by gender in Korean adults. Methods: A total of 109 adults (54 males, 55 females) with normal BMI (body mass index) participated in this study. EE and METs of 13 selected activities were simultaneously measured by the K4b2 portable indirect calorimeter and predicted by the GT3X+ Actigraph accelerometer. The accuracy of the accelerometer was assessed by comparing the predicted with the measured EE and METs. Results: EE (kcal/kg/hr) and METs of treadmill walking (3.2 km/h, 4.8 km/h and 5.6 km/h) and running (6.4 km/h) were significantly higher in female than in male participants (p < 0.05). On the other hand, the accelerometer significantly underestimated the EE and METs for all activities except descending stairs, moderate walking, and fast walking in males as well as descending stairs in females. Low intensity activities had the highest rate of accurate classifications (88.3% in males and 91.3% females), whereas vigorous intensity activities had the lowest rate of accurate classifications (43.6% in males and 27.7% in females). Across all activities, the rate of accurate classification was significantly higher in males than in females (75.2% and 58.3% respectively, p < 0.01). Error between the accelerometer and K4b2 was smaller in males than in females, and EE and METs were more accurately estimated during treadmill activities than other activities in both males and females. Conclusion: The accelerometer underestimated EE and METs across various activities in Korean adults. In addition, there appears to be a gender difference in the rate of accurate accelerometer classification of activities according to intensity. Our results indicate the need to develop new accelerometer equations for this population, and gender differences should be considered.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)552-564
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Nutrition and Health
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Dec


  • Accelerometer
  • Estimated energy requirements
  • Indirect calorimetry
  • Physical activity
  • Physical intensity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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